Addressing sex and gender to improve asthma management.

20 Dec 2022


Sex (whether one is 'male' or 'female', based on biological characteristics) and gender (defined by socially constructed roles and behaviors) influence asthma diagnosis and management. For example, women generally report more severe asthma symptoms than men; men and women are exposed to different asthma-causing triggers; men tend to be more physically active than women. Furthermore, implicit, often unintended gender bias by healthcare professionals (HCPs) is widespread, and may result in delayed asthma diagnosis, which can be greater in women than men. The sex and gender of the HCP can also impact asthma management. Pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause can all affect asthma in several ways and may be associated with poor asthma control. This review provides guidance for considering sex- and gender-associated impacts on asthma diagnosis and management and offers possible approaches to support HCPs in providing personalized asthma care for all patients, regardless of their sex or gender.

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Resource information

Respiratory conditions
  • Asthma
Respiratory topics
  • Gender
Type of resource
Peer-reviewed article
Boulet LP, Lavoie KL, Raherison-Semjen C, Kaplan A, Singh D, Jenkins CR